Deciding to expose a workplace or organization engaging in corruption like embezzlement or tax fraud is a tough decision to make according to a Washington DC whistleblower lawyer at Eric Siegel Law. There are many reasons why someone would choose to, including a person’s own moral code. Whatever your reasons are, it’s best to hire an attorney to do so. Unfortunately, whistleblowers can often face retaliation, including financial burdens and even potential legal repercussions. We’ll explore some factors to consider when choosing your whistleblower attorney.
- They Have Plenty of Experience and Specialize In Your Area
You want an attorney that brings plenty of experience to the table and who specializes in whistleblowing cases. Additionally, it’s essential to remember that not every whistleblowing case is the same. For example, a small business can have many differences compared to a large-scale federal organization. Ask any potential attorney if they have worked on cases similar to yours.
- If They Have Success Winning Cases (And Can Prove It)
Due to sensitivity, attorneys or law firms may not always be able to highlight specific cases they’ve won on their site. However, there should still be evidence of a proven track record—if not on their site(s), they shouldn’t shy away from giving you details in person. If possible, try asking for direct references you can also speak to.
- Their Location
Attorneys are allowed to represent whistleblowers no matter where they live in the country. While there are many methods to communicate remotely today, often you’ll still have meetings with your lawyer in person. So naturally, a shorter commute time makes things easier. However, unlike writing a will or going through a divorce, location generally should take a backseat to factors like qualifications and success in winning cases. In particular, lawyers based in Washington, DC, have the advantage of being close to the Department of Justice, the IRS, the SEC, and the CFTC. If you need to travel, ask any potential attorney if they can cover travel expenses.
- If They Have a Strategy For Retaliation
Unfortunately, exposing your workplace’s “dirty laundry” can result in retaliation like workplace harassment, financial troubles like having your hours cut or pay docked, threats, etc. Retaliation following whistleblowing is illegal, but that doesn’t always stop a workplace or other entities from engaging in such behavior. Therefore, any potential attorney should have a plan in mind that can help mitigate and prevent this retaliation from occurring.
- If You Can Communicate Well With the Attorney
Lastly, you want to hire an attorney with whom you can easily communicate. Be sure to ask yourself if the attorney in question can explain things in a way you can understand and if they ask questions when you have them. They should also appear passionate about wanting to help you and take an interest in your case. Some cases can take up to a year or longer, so you’ll see a lot of any attorney you hire.